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The Puerto Rico Trench Tsunami Threat


by Zen Gardner

I’ve written about this little known Puerto Rico trench before, but it’s worth repeating. Especially now, because the quakes in the trench zone are getting not just more frequent, but stronger.

It was startling to find out just how massive and deep this fault line trench is. The consequences of a substantial subterranean landslide and resultant tsunami on the entire heavily populated low-lying island region of the Caribbean is almost unfathomable. And there’s hardly any talk about that lurking danger.

Of course not.

In case you haven’t noticed, the “authorities” don’t seem to want us to be aware of how tentative things are and the imminent dangers we face. Whether it’s earthquake activity, radiation releases, or geoengineering insanity wrecking the planet, we’re supposed to just trudge along with our heads down and not notice.

globe showing location of 10-degree map 10-degree map showing recent earthquakes

Recent Uptick in Seismic Activity on the Trench

You’ll notice above that the size of the quakes on the fault has been increasing over the past week. It’s fairly “normal” to see regular activity in this region, but this increase in magnitude is unusual and something to take note of.

About the Trench – Evidence of Enormous Submarine Landslide:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that the Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, with water depths exceeding 5.2 miles! The Puerto Rico Trench is also associated with the most negative gravity anomaly on earth, -380 milliGal, which indicates the presence of an active downward force.
The region is located on an active plate boundary zone between the North American plate and the northeast corner of the Caribbean plate. The North American tectonic plate is descending under Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, south of the trench.
The results of studies involving mapping and seismic profiling of the sea floor off Puerto Rico’s northern shore, have uncovered evidence of an enormous submarine landslide. The the suspect slide extends across roughly 35 square miles, and evidence indicates that a slide of this size would have involved approximately 620 cubic miles of material!
Location of earthquakes
Figure 2. Location of earthquakes as a function of depth and size in the northeastern Caribbean.

The arrows in the map above show the direction the underlying Caribbean tectonic plates are moving, with the resultant build-up of pressure releasing into a myrid of earthquakes in the region over the years. Puerto Rico is the smaller green island in the middle, with the Dominican Republic the larger island to the left. The string of other Caribbean islands is buried under the earthquake markers that flow down the page to the lower right.

You can see the Puerto Rico Trench wraps around the entire zone.

A few little known facts came to the fore as I was researching this area after spotting the recent increase in seismic activity in the Caribbean region.

1. The Puerto Rico Trench is the biggest and deepest such trench in the entire Atlantic ocean.

2. This trench is capable of producing 8.0 earthquakes and above.

3. The risk of a major quake, underwater landslide and mega tsunami are as great as that of the Seattle area. In fact, one recent risk assessment put it at 35 to 55%!

4. The zone hasn’t ruptured in over 200 years and that has geologists seriously concerned.

In other words, something major will happen. No one knows when, but it will happen, as it has in the past there.

Add that to the fact that 35 million people live in surrounding low lying areas and you have a monumental disaster just waiting to happen.

Seismic activity is constant in the region, perched on the trench precipice

But Why No Warning?

What struck is that in everything I’m reading, it’s admitted this risk is huge but it’s hardly known in the area. Even Wikipedia admits:

Knowledge of the earthquake and tsunami risks has not been widespread among the general public of the islands located near the trench.

Why? Would it negatively impact the local economy, much like the idiot mayor’s development worries in the movie Jaws? Are there really such people in charge?

Well, look at the Gulf oil disaster and Fukushima for starters. I don’t think the concern is anyone’s health or well being – it’s preserving the status quo while the disasters take their toll as quietly as possible.

Remember–it’s not crisis prevention, it’s crisis management.

We May Not Know When, But People Should Be Prepared

I watched a moving and very insightful movie called “Tsunami – Caught On Camera” that is really worth viewing. It shows the psychology of human reactions to disaster. It’s a gripping and heart rending tale of several families and individuals who endured the catastrophic effects of the 2004 tsunami in several heavily hit locations.

The human spirit is so beautiful, through triumph and tragedy.

What baffled me was how even locals in some of these locations didn’t realize that when the sea retreats way out, leaving boats stranded and fish flapping on the sand and rocks, something big is coming and you should head for the hills. In some cases people were sleeping or there was very little warning. But I found this disturbing that people didn’t know this clear sign of a tsunami approaching.

But people in 2004 were completely caught unawares. When the tide went out many gathered at various beaches to see what the fuss was all about. When It started coming in and rising so quickly some thought it was cool and still had no idea. Not everybody missed the warning and some did try to warn others, but in general there was a real lack of awareness.

Are people really so ignorant of the world around them in this day and age? After this event I think the world learned a lot, perhaps. The Fukushima tsunami was a strange phenomenon that gave no warnings as to its massive size except the preceding quake, which was semi-routine tor them. Even the quake damage in Fukushima was hard to spot so they just kept about their ways until the ocean just rose and swallowed them up.

Very strange when the Japanese are very alert about this phenomenon and the potential effects from quakes.

We Need To Stay Tuned, Conscious and Continue to Inform

The Powers That Be are not about informing or empowering the people, as you have probably learned. There are wonderful researchers and groups trying to help people take real threats like these seriously, but it’s in spite of the government, not because of them.

If people realize they need to stay conscious and informed on their own and not expect the media to tell them what to do, they can stay a step ahead, or at least know how to read the signs of the times and react in a conscious way.

Whatever you do, don’t follow Hollywood’s pre-programmed panic conditioning. Keep fear out of the equation in whatever you do, think or plan.

But be prepared and keep informing others. Information is empowering.

Love, Zen


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  1. I’ve never met more people that don’t know how to swim than those that live near the ocean

    Maybe this is irony or a metaphor of how many humans choose to live life on this planet

  2. When I read this, I am reminded of your piece (at least I think it is yours, mea culpa if I am citing the wrong site and I am also paraphrasing here) “Isolated or Perfectly Placed.”

    I have lived in South American and have known many whom I could visit in the Caribbean and Central America. Even offered a job once in Costa Rica. Then, it just did not work out.

    Somehow, always intuitively guided AWAY from those low lands and coastal areas. This article provides the science of why I have intuitively avoided such places.

    I live at high altitude now in the Southwestern part of the US. Yes, I am isolated and, yes, drought could always overtake us all here. However, with your information here, I am beginning to appreciate the more subtle and overt reasons for sensing that I am, indeed, Perfectly Placed.

    Thanks for the info Zen. Much appreciated.

  3. Reasoning form the general, to the specific: then, believe your own ‘lying eyes and ears’ and gain as much general knowledge on things as possible.

    As we move from the center mass of humanity either down or up (that is to say to lesser privileged peoples on one extreme and to elite people on the other) I think we observe, in both directions, a decrease in general knowledge of things, and in functional ability.

    Experience is the best instructor, and everything known is a plus. First aid and CPR are good knowledge skills. Survival skills in general, anything positive is a plus.

    One of today’s most confounding symptoms, is that, of people ‘trusting’ officials to handle emergencies.

    Two short examples of preparedness. I lived in the Samoan Islands in time past. There, a friend of mine fell from a roof in a rain storm. The fall of three stories after the high speed slide on a wickedly pitched tin roof killed him.

    The sorrow of it all, in that he broke some bones, was that he bled to death from his injuries while a witless crowd stood and watched.

    I wasn’t there. Had I been, he may have survived.

    I lived there when, in 2009 a Tsunami hit. The epicenter of the quake was about 250 miles south of the Tongan Islands. The quake was long and actually fell people. No infrastructure was destroyed by it though. (There are no real high buildings)

    Shortly there after the news of the Tsunami that followed reached me. My place was a good ways inland, and was not affected by the wave.

    I remember then, calculating the time of the quake against the time of the Tsunami, and the distance it traveled: the result was over 700 mph. and the wave was 45′ high.


  4. Not to quibble with you, Zen, as I like your style and your work and can only say, “Keep it up.” The following is only grist for the thought-mill.

    In many senses, every chunk of flesh is in the same position as the folks within the Puerto Rico Trench. Said Trench, of which you write so well (you are a good writer, after all), could kill 35 million. However, about 56.6 million people die every year in the world, a veritable Armageddon yearly! Doing the math a little farther yields 4.7 million human bodies per month. There is but one way to die and that is by violence. It doesn’t happen any other way–there is no “peaceful” physical death, even though the consciousness may know nothing about the event. It is possible for one to die without any knowledge of the event at all. Indeed, it must happen this way a lot, but it is still a death and still at the hand of violence of some kind or other. And so, life on earth is an episode that has no way of ending except in violent death.

    Thus, I believe the best answer is to get in touch with death while one lives and realize everything about it that one can possibly glean short of actually being completely there. I’ve done this to a pretty fair degree and realized what the biblical writer must have meant that wrote, “I die daily.” I am aware that I die daily, too. But not just daily, all living things die every moment of life.

    Death is a hard matter to get together with, but it can be done. Once one is there, it is easy to see that life and death are the very same thing and each supports the other in a real mind-blowing Yin and Yang arrangement. Life exists that it may die, and dies that it may exist. If one shepherds this arrangement, I am at the point where I can see that it is quite possible that one may get between the median lines of said highway, and consciously go both directions at once immortally, a condition that would be neither life nor death, but both life and death. To coin a tired phrase, but apropos here, one gets to have one’s cake and eat it, too.

    One should not develop too morbid a fascination with death, or too vivid an imagination longing for the perfect life forevermore, but glide along in the median strip that lies between and joins these two together, as I feel certain that this is where immortality lies.

  5. I lived in Puerto Rico for many years and I was concern about this all the time. YOU ARE RIGHT. Thank you for this post.

  6. Weight

    I know more than I can
    In the scheme of things
    I know more than I should
    Or would ever want to
    I have been here before
    In the midst of it
    I have seen it all
    With much regret
    History repeats
    Like an automatic weapon
    It shoots us all
    Without discrimination
    If we fail to stand up
    Or if we do
    The future will obliterate us
    In the natural order of elimination.

    Death is larger than life.
    Live without strife or die trying.

  7. Great post! I like when you said “geo-engineering insanity wrecking the planet”. I thing we have something here….

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